Ecofeminism is marked by massive internal contradictions and even celebrations of its own incoherence. Some ecofeminists atavistically romanticize Neolithic prehistory, and spread theism, irrationalism, and mystification in both the ecology and the feminist movements-and thereby contribute to a general counter-Enlightenment. Their proposals for an ecological ethics ranging from a belief in the supposed "aliveness" of nature, to goddess worship to affirming "women's values" are utilitarian at best, and regressive for women at worst. By emphasizing these themes, ecofeminists define the ecological community largely apart from democratic political practice. This book is intented to provide an alternative for all women, be they ecological activists, and/or eco-political theorists, who are doubtful about ecofeminism.
Revealing the fallacies and contradictions of ecofeminism, Biehl argues that a feminist in the ecology movement need not accept ecofeminism per se as an ideology. In the end, she argues, social ecology, an alternate framework, is more liberating for men and women, as well as for our beleaguered biosphere.
Janet Biehl, a social ecologist, is a member of the Left Green Network. A resident of Burlington, Vermont, she is also a member of the Burlington Greens and co-edits Green Perspectives. Her main interest lies in building an anticapitalist, participatory-democratic, gender equal ecology movement.